The 365 Commitment

Keep Swingin

On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record. 715 Homeruns, at the start of the season. He would establish the new record of 755 Home Runs that would stand for over 30 years and eventually be broken by Barry Bonds. Many will argue that Bonds had help from illicit steroid use, but that is not the point. Hank Aaron held many records, still does in fact, and could quote possibly be a candidate for GOAT (Greatest of All Time).

One of the most interesting records he held was the most mail received by a non politician. You see the circumstances leading up to him breaking Babe Ruth’s record created the perfect storm. Hank Aaron was a black man, and in 1973 he was knocking on the door to break the great Babe Ruth’s record. He ended that season one home run shy. As a consequence, during the off season Hank Aaron received both fan and hate mail for the same reason. People threatened his life, wished him all sorts of ill fortune. People wanted to make him a symbol of overcoming racial strife.

Perhaps the famous Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, who was announcing for the opposing team that day said it best:

What a marvelous moment for baseball; what a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia; what a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron … And for the first time in a long time, that poker face in Aaron shows the tremendous strain and relief of what it must have been like to live with for the past several months.

This day would overshadow many things in the life of Hank Aaron, and he would be forever remembered for this moment. Nowadays, baseball fans revere him, our society holds him up as an icon. However, let us not forget the more important things. Hank Aaron showed up everyday for work, and did his best. His teammates were always overwhelmed by his work ethic. He was the best at everything he did, because he worked harder than everyone else. He was not just a slugger, either. He held records and had accomplishments in all aspects of the game. I believe he held a record for the most hits and stolen bases in the same year. Above all that, he was a good person that almost everyone spoke highly of. He died earlier this year, quietly without a lot of noise outside the sports community.

I say all of this to lead up to a bit of advice he gave. In spite of all your troubles, obstacles to overcome, challenges and perhaps road blocks. I think it is important to remember what Hank Aaron said his motto was:

My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.

Guy Reams

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Benjamin Wagner
Benjamin Wagner
2 years ago

Very nice poet Guy. Your phrasing and ideas flow into a nice form and message here.


Benjamin Wagner
Benjamin Wagner
2 years ago

I meant Post . . but poet works too!

Share the Post:

Recent Blogs

Comparison Game

Just thinking about common issues that plague our mental states. One of them is the comparison game. Similar to the

Read More
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x